When Satan Goes to Church, Pt. 2

Date: 11/19/2022 
God wants us to feed and to grow and to blossom as Christians but the devil keeps planting his teachings and his problems in the church to try to sap our strength and our attention. How can we know what his tricks are so that we don't fall into his traps?

Did God Create the Devil? - Paperback or Digital (PDF)

Did God Create the Devil? - Paperback or Digital (PDF)
When you post, you agree to the terms and conditions of our comments policy.
If you have a Bible question for Pastor Doug Batchelor or the Amazing Facts Bible answer team, please submit it by clicking here. Due to staff size, we are unable to answer Bible questions posted in the comments.
To help maintain a Christian environment, we closely moderate all comments.

  1. Please be patient. We strive to approve comments the day they are made, but please allow at least 24 hours for your comment to appear. Comments made on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday may not be approved until the following Monday.

  2. Comments that include name-calling, profanity, harassment, ridicule, etc. will be automatically deleted and the invitation to participate revoked.

  3. Comments containing URLs outside the family of Amazing Facts websites will not be approved.

  4. Comments containing telephone numbers or email addresses will not be approved.

  5. Comments off topic may be deleted.

  6. Please do not comment in languages other than English.

Please note: Approved comments do not constitute an endorsement by the ministry of Amazing Facts or by Pastor Doug Batchelor. This website allows dissenting comments and beliefs, but our comment sections are not a forum for ongoing debate.

Announcer: This presentation is brought to you by the friends of the Amazing Facts ministry.

Doug Batchelor: Jesus said, in Matthew 28:19, "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations." Here at "Amazing Facts," we take the Great Commission seriously, that's why we're an international ministry. I've personally had the privilege of sharing the gospel in many countries, from China to New Guinea, from Russia to Africa to India, and it's evident that people everywhere have a hunger for the Word of God. As we make significant progress in delivering God's message, there's still a lot of work to be done, it's not enough that people know about Jesus, people need to experience a new birth and to know the fantastic love of God. Life's difficult, and many people across the globe are struggling, but God is still love. And it's our mission, here at "Amazing Facts," and it's our joy, to show that love to others by sharing the good news. We pray that today's program will bless and inspire you to share God's Word with others. And don't forget, stay tuned for today's free offer at the conclusion of the presentation. God bless.

Doug: We're continuing with the second part in a series where we're talking about "When Satan Goes to Church." Now, when we're talking about the devil in church, that always sounds like it's a paradox, it sounds like an oxymoron, but the devil actually started in church. The Bible tells us that he was right there by the throne of God from his creation. You can read in Ezekiel 28, "You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you; You were on the holy mountain of God; You walk back and forth in the midst of fiery stones." And that fiery stone is talking about the blazing stones, the glory of God. Jesus, who of course lived before His incarnation, He said, Luke chapter 10:18, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven." There was a war in heaven and Satan was cast out of heaven.

The devil knows about going to church, and he wants to get back to church, did you know that? Well, let's talk a little bit about the disguise of the devil. And this was our Scripture reading last week, Acts 20, if you have your Bibles, Acts 20, verse 29 and 30. Paul is giving some admonition to believers in Asia, he knows it's probably the last time he's going to see them. And he says, "For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock," wolves among the flock. "Also from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after themselves."

Now, you notice something, Paul says, "After my departure." Why after his departure? If you look in the previous verse, I think it's verse 27, Paul says, "I have not neglected to declare unto you the whole counsel of God." Paul is saying, "As long as I'm here, I know what the devil's up to, I know what he looks like, and I'm preaching the whole counsel of God, you're going to be safe. But after my departure, there's other teachers that are going to come in, and there's a risk that you will be confused when these wolves come in."

Matthew 13, Jesus gave them a parable, "The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; but while men slept, his enemy came." Now, who's the enemy? "The enemy came and he sowed tares among the wheat." Tares, I remember, first read that and I thought, "What's a tare?" I thought it was a rip in your clothes. A tare is an old word for a weed that resembles wheat when it's little.

Do you know that when you were very young, very, very young, your parents could not tell the difference between you and a frog? Now, I'm talking about like when you were a single cell, or even if you were two cells. And even after a week or two, if you look at the little embryos under a microscope of a frog or different creatures, they all look pretty much the same, it's hard to tell the difference between a little puppy and a snake when they're really small.

But then, as they get bigger, and wheat, when it first springs from the ground, looks very much like tares. And the devil, he sows his tares among the wheat. And the servants come to the master and they say, "It looks like there's some tears sown among the wheat. Do you want us to go pull them up?" And the master says, "No, no, no, because they're so similar, you're going to accidentally pull up some wheat."

Sometimes, you and I think we know the difference between the wheat and the tares, but only God knows the heart. If you asked the religious leaders to pull the weeds out of the early church, they would have got rid of Mary Magdalene and Peter right away, right? And they would have probably promoted Judas. So we got to be careful when it comes to separating the wheat and the tares because it's sometimes hard to tell, the devil is sneaky in the church. 2 Corinthians 11:13-15, "Such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light."

When the devil came to tempt Jesus in the wilderness, do you think that he plopped down on the ground with bat wings and red leotards and a goatee and Calvin Klein suit? No, he looked like a beautiful angel, he can transform himself into an angel of light. "And no wonder!" It says, "Therefore it is not a great thing if his ministers transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works."

So, you've got the disguise of the devil, then you got the deceptions of the devil, that would seem pretty obvious, the deceptions of the devil. But I want you to notice, Revelation 12, verse 9, "So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him."

So, you've got the devil and his angels that are doing what? They're deceiving the whole world, but it's not just the world on the outside that's being deceived. Look in 1 Timothy 4:1. "Now the Spirit speaks expressly saying in the latter times some will depart from the faith." These are who? People in the faith, "Giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils." It says they will be deceived, deceiving spirits, not just the world being deceived, but people in the church being deceived, by what? "Doctrines of devils."

You know, for every truth of God, the devil has a counterfeit. Notice this, Satan has his own trinity. You read in Revelation 16:13, The dragon, the beast and the false prophet, where we have the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. He has his own church, Revelation 2:9, it's called the, "Synagogue of Satan." These are exact phrases. He's got his own theology, 1 Timothy 4:1, "The doctrines of demons." He has his own ministers, 2 Corinthians 11:4-5, and verse 15, says they're called ministers of Satan, they've graduated from his seminary. He's got his own gospel, Galatians 1:9 calls it the accursed gospel. He's got his own sacrificial system, Paul says in 1 Corinthians 10, "The Gentiles sacrifice...to demons." He has his own communion service, 1 Corinthians 10:21, Paul says, "The cup of demons," and "The table of demons." He has his own unholy spirit, I can't call it his own Holy Spirit, because he's obviously not holy, but it says that it's the spirit of an unclean demon. He's got his own throne, given to him by the dragon, Revelation 13:2. He's got his own worshipers, look at Revelation 13.

Devil's got his own complete system of theology, his church, his ministers, and he deceives people. There's so many that think they're serving the Lord, and they're serving the devil. Then you got the dialogue of the devil. A hunter was out in the woods, and he encountered a great big bear, and he leveled his gun was, ready to fire, and the bear put his hands up in the air. He said, "Wait, let's talk about this." Well, the hunter had never heard a bear talk to him before, and the hunter said, "What's to talk about?" He said, "It doesn't need to end this way." He said, "We can negotiate." The bear said, "What do you want?" So, the hunter said, "I don't know how we can negotiate this," he said, "I want a warm bear-fur coat." The bear said, "We can make that happen." Hunter said, "What do you want?" He said, "I'm just hungry, I'm looking for a meal." He said, "Well, there's some rocks here, let's sit down, let's talk about it."

So, the hunter, cautiously, he went and sat down on the rock and the bear sat down across from him, and they talked a little while. And then the bear walked away happy and left the hunter's gun there on the ground. They had come to an agreement, the bear had a full stomach, and the hunter had a bear-fur coat, because the bear ate him, in case you didn't figure that out. Some people are still sitting there, going. How did it happen? They're talking. How did we get into trouble?

Genesis 3, "Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field that the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman," "Hi, beautiful, hey there." Actually, in the original Hebrew, it's a greeting like, "Hi there." He said, "Has God indeed said, 'You shall not eat from every tree in the garden'?" "Let's talk about this," he engaged her to discuss what God had commanded, and God doesn't want us to just dialogue about His will as much as He wants us to obey His will. A lot of people think talking about theology is different from living it.

You don't want to get involved in a discussion with the devil because you can rationalize anything if you talk to the enemy. Satan convinced one-third of the holy angels to trust him instead of the Lord. Matthew 16:22, Jesus told the apostles, He said, "I'm going to Jerusalem, I'm going to die, I'll rise the third day." Peter said, "Lord, can we have a word? Come over here, I want to talk to You a little bit." And Peter said, "Jesus, far be it from You; this shall not happen to You!" You know what Jesus said to Peter? "Get behind Me, Satan." The devil was using even someone close to the Lord to try to talk Him out of going to the cross. It reminds us that even good leaders make mistakes.

Jude verse 9, there's only one chapter in Jude, verse 9, "Michael the archangel, in contending with the devil, when he disputed." You know what a dispute is? He wanted to do engagement him in an argument, a dispute. And the devil's saying Michael is coming to resurrect Moses, and the devil said, "No, no, you can't take him, he sinned, he lost his temper, he murdered someone and hid him in the sand. You can't take him." And it says that Michael would not even engage him, he says, "The Lord rebuke you!" That's it. Don't get into a discussion with the devil.

Then you've got the derision of the devil, that's as close as I could get to the word "meanness," the derision. You remember the story, Luke 9:51, "Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Jesus to be received up, He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem." Jesus is on His way to worship at the feast, "And He sent some of His messengers before Him. And they went into a village of Samaritans, to prepare for Him." They said, "It's a long journey, is there an inn, a place where the Master can stay?" They said, "Oh, you're going down to Jerusalem to worship? We don't worship in Jerusalem; we worship in Mount Gerizim. If He's going to Jerusalem, then don't even bother stopping here."

You remember His discussion with the Samaritan woman? The Samaritans did not worship in Jerusalem, they worshiped at a different temple, and they said, "If He's going to worship there, don't even come." That made the disciples so angry. Listen to what James and John said. It said, "They didn't receive Him, because His face was set to journey to Jerusalem. And His disciples James and John," nicknamed Sons of Thunder, "They saw this, they said, 'Lord, do you want us to command fire to come down from heaven and burden them, up just like Elijah did?'" They had a verse. And Jesus said, "You don't know what manner of spirit you are of."

Well, if it wasn't God's Spirit, what spirit was it? Just think about that, here they are, two church leaders, and they said, "Lord, they're not treating You right, let's get even. If we can't wait for them to go to hell, we're going to bring hell to them, give us the power, we will call fire down and burn up the whole town." You can see what Jesus, He had His hands full, didn't He tried to teach these guys?

You wonder, "How did the church ever get to the place where, a couple of 100 years after Christ, they were torturing people that did not accept Jesus? How did the church get to the place where they were having witch trials, and drowning and burning people, in the name of Jesus?" Because the devil knows how to get into church with people that just aren't converted. So you got the derision of the devil.

I'm going to pause here, and now I want to give you some of the answers. How do you defeat the devil? Three things, be consecrated, be clothed, be courageous, maybe I'll add a fourth, be confident. Be consecrated, James 4:7, "Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you."

One of the most important things first is submit, surrender to God, we do that on our knees. You are never stronger in fighting the devil, when you are on your knees. Do you know how hard it is to sin and pray at the same time? If you're praying for victory, God is going to empty heaven with angels to help you, rather than see you fall, if you're turning to Him.

Submit to God, you cannot resist the devil until you submit to God, you can't do it with your brilliance. Don't argue with him, he's a lot smarter than you, you must humble yourself, recognize your weakness, you're never stronger than when you know how weak you are. Submit to the Lord in prayer.

You know, one time this man had a son that was demon possessed and the disciples couldn't cast him out, and they said, "Lord, what's the problem?" He said, "This kind does not come out except by prayer and fasting." So, be consecrated.

Secondly, be clothed. Now, you know this one, what do you wear? Ephesians 6, verse 10, "Finally, brethren, be strong in the Lord and the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you might be able to stand against the wiles of the devil." So, how do we stand? Standing is like in a fight, you're standing, you put on the armor of God. And then he itemizes what that is, "We don't wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in heavenly places."

We are fighting a spiritual battle. We must put on the spiritual armor. "Therefore, take up the whole armor of God, that you might be able to withstand in the evil day," meaning the day of temptation, "Having done all, to stand." And then he itemizes, of course, the breastplate of righteousness, and the helmet of salvation, and be girdled with the truth, and have the gospel shoes on your feet, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. And then he says, "And with all prayer." And all those things, of course, the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God, is one of the most important things. This is how Jesus met every temptation, He said, "It is written, it is written, it is written."

Alright, well, I said be consecrated, be clothed, be courageous. Have you noticed how many times in the Bible it says, "Rebuke the devil," "Resist the devil"? We just read where James says, "Therefore submit to God. Resist." There's a fight, be courageous, resist him, sometimes the devil must be dealt with head-on. Romans 16:20, "And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly." The Bible says, "You will tread on the serpent, you will defeat lions." One of the two symbols of the devil, lions and the serpent. And you do those things, and He can deliver you.

So, how does the devil get into the church? I wrote a little poem this morning. "How does the devil enter the church? It's not through the windows or door, it's not through the plumbing, the wires and lights, it's not through the vent in the floor. He does not climb on the roof to sneak in the belfry in the steeple. The answer is clear when you look in the mirror, he gets in the church through the people." It's not the building we're afraid of, it's how he gets into us. I just showed you, he got into James, John, Peter, they all at one point forsook Him and fled. When Peter said, "Though all men forsake You, I'll not forsake You," but he didn't know himself, that's why we got to humble ourselves.

I was fascinated with the story in history of the Enigma machine, you've heard about the Enigma machine, it was this very complicated coding machine. It was actually developed for financial purposes before World War II, and adopted by the Nazis, and modified, and it gave them the ability to send messages to their navy and their army, and different headquarters, coded messages. And the recipients needed to have a codebook and a machine. To figure out what these messages were, their chances like were one in a billion, billion. I mean, you could never figure it out, because the machine had a number of wheels and gears and wires, and buttons that you would press, and they would change the code with these codebooks from day to day.

Well, the Nazis were destroying the English in the North Atlantic, in the Mediterranean, they were winning in Africa because all these blitzkrieg surprise attacks. And Winston Churchill said, along with the Polish army, they said, "We've got to break that code, we've got to break that code." And he had a whole big team assigned, and they realized they needed to get not only an Enigma machine, they needed the codebooks.

Well, what happened, on October 30, 1942, in the Mediterranean, a German, or rather an English warship encountered a German U-boat. They brought it to the surface, because their depth charges had so damaged it, it was sinking. And the captain of the German U-boat realized that if he wanted to save his crew, they had to surface. They would risk being either killed or taken prisoner, but they were certainly going to drown, because a submarine is basically iron, and when it loses its air, it sinks not like a piece of balsa wood, it sinks like an anchor.

So, with whatever ballast they had left, the captain brought the U-boat up, and all of the sailors of the U-boat, the Germans, came pouring out like ants, jumping into the sea. The English captain brought his ship, his warship, alongside the U-boat. And he ordered three sailors, he says, "You've got to get in there and get the codebooks, the war may depend on it, lives will depend on it, we need the codebooks." So, three sailors jumped overboard, and they went down the conning tower of the submarine as it's preparing to sink, water's pouring in, and they managed to get out.

Actually, I've got their names here, Tony Fasson, 22 years old, a 29-year-old first lieutenant, Colin Grazier, and a 16-year-old canteen assistant, Tommy Brown. And they were handing the stuff up the aisles, broke into the safe, managed to get the codebooks. And Tommy Brown yelled down from the conning tower, where the periscope goes up, he says, "Guys, get out, the water's coming in, get out, get out." He could tell all the air was escaping and it was going down quickly, and they were going back for more because they were thinking about getting the information to save their comrades, and two of them didn't make it out, but they did get the codebooks. Tommy Brown escaped, jumped into one of the boats, the little landing craft that were there, and that information helped them to break the code of the enemy and it turned the war.

Now, you have a codebook in the Bible. Someone has died to make it available for you, so that you could know what the devil's tactics are. What a shame if we would ignore it. There's one more little fact I'll give you. When they finally broke the Enigma code, some of the mathematicians had figured it out, they were listening to the radio transmissions from Germany and they said, "There is going to be a major attack in the North Sea tomorrow." They said, "You know that?" They said, "We know that, we know with 99%." And the high brass did not take them seriously, and there was a major attack and several British ships were sunk because they did not listen to the information they had gotten from the codebooks. And I wonder how many people are overcome while we've got the Book right in our hands. Every temptation, Jesus said, "It is written," and He was victorious.

If we would hide God's Word in our heart, it says, "That we might not sin against Him," we've got the key to resist the onslaughts of the enemy, we've got the key to identify the enemy. It's something like a man who's taking the stagecoach and he's trying to get to the one he loves, but the only way he can get to the one he loves is you got to ride this stagecoach through this dangerous canyon. And when he buys his ticket, they give him a little warning, they said, "Now we need to let you know that there is a high probability of being attacked by Indians, and there's quicksand along the way, and folks are going to try and roll rocks down on you at some point along the way, and some of the people that are on the stagecoach, we don't know who they are, but we think they're bandits that are going undercover."

You wouldn't want to get on that stagecoach, would you? But then the man who's running the stagecoach and selling the ticket says, "But good news is, I got a map for you, and it tells you when the attack will take place, where the quicksand is, where they're going to roll the rocks down, and what the spy looks like that's going to get on the stagecoach." You'd feel a lot better if you had that information, right?

Doug: Have you ever wondered before, "If God is loving, if God is good, why would He make a devil?" Well, we have a special study guide we'd like to send you for free by the same title, "Did God Create a Devil?" In this beautifully illustrated and Scripture-filled resource, we'll address the very important questions regarding the origin of evil. Where did the devil come from, why did Lucifer rebel, how did he turn into Satan and the devil? And more importantly, how can you have victory over his temptations? To get your free copy, call the phone number on your screen and ask for offer number 107 or visit the web address. And after you read this incredible resource, make sure and share it with a friend.

Doug: Is there any way you can turn these days to find hope for a brighter future? Yes, please join me, Doug Batchelor, on September 20 for the start of Amazing Facts' "Prophecy Odyssey," a Bible study extravaganza. These dynamic multimedia presentations will transform what we know about the world and your purpose in it. Bible prophecy is fast fulfilling. Are you ready?

Announcer: For more information and to register, visit PROPHECYODYSSEY.COM.

Announcer: Did you know that Noah was present at the birth of Abraham? Okay, maybe he wasn't in the room, but he was alive and probably telling stories about his floating zoo. From the creation of the world to the last-day events of Revelation, BibleHistory.com is a free resource where you can explore major Bible events and characters and draw closer to God's Word. Go deeper, visit the Amazing Bible Timeline at BibleHistory.com.

Doug: Thank you for tuning in to "Amazing Facts." Have you ever wanted to study the teachings of the Bible in an easy-to-understand, step-by-step way? The Amazing Facts Bible school offers free, simple-to-follow lessons that will guide you through all of the vital teachings of Scripture. Visit AmazingBibleStudies.com to sign up for your free lessons, they're available by mail or online. Studies are also offered in multiple languages.

Announcer: Don't forget to request today's free offer, it's sure to be a blessing. And thank you for your continued support as we take the gospel of Jesus Christ to the world. We hope you'll join us next week as we delve deep into the Word of God to explore more Amazing Facts.

Announcer: This presentation was brought to you by the friends of the Amazing Facts ministry.

Share a Prayer Request
Ask a Bible Question



Prayer Request:

Share a Prayer Request


Bible Question:

Ask a Bible Question